Athletes call it being in the “zone”. You may have experienced it while singing. The performance feels effortless. You feel almost like someone is singing you. Your voice just flows. Time stops. When the song ends, there is a moment of silence before the audience goes crazy. You realize you were in an altered state of mind.
What can we do to have this almost spiritual experience more often?
Be well prepared. (see studio singing). Know your songs backwards forwards and inside out. The more you are sure of your material and your vocal technique the more secure you will feel following that “creative muse”. The fearful thought “I won’t be able to sing that or it won’t work” shuts down that “in the moment” creativity. Singing can be a spiritual discipline. First comes the discipline, which is practicing your technique and artistic choices (voice quality, phrasing etc.). Then comes freedom – letting go – Magic.
“It is a good day to die” In the movie “Little Big Man”, every time the hero played by Dustin Hoffman is about to face a life trial his adopted Grandfather (chief Dan George) says, “it is a good day to die”. In other words – do the best you can (not the best some mythical super person can) and don’t be afraid to sometimes fall flat on your face
Let go of having to be perfect, looking good, being liked or impressing anyone. Perform not for your own gain, but as a gift to your audience. Your only job as a singer is to touch even only one listener.
Turn off The Judge. Did you ever notice how so many of the recipients of awards on Grammy night thank a higher power for their talent and good fortune? I hypothesize that because of their belief they can turn off their own human (read imperfect) internal critic and let a perfectly imperfect universe be the judge. It doesn’t mean you have to believe in some kind of dogma or Deity. It’s just a state of mind or a way at looking at things. Again just give away your performance. Once it’s out there you no longer own it. (Like a baby first having a dump without a diaper)
Seriously, you may never know the effect you had on someone in your audience, and when or why you had that effect. It may well have been some fortuitous mistake that you thought was ……………………………………………………………………………….. ………………………..……(Oh what the heck, it is a good day to die)……………..crap.
Any thing I’ve forgotten or comments? Contact me.